By Erin Walgamuth
Every once in a while, usually on a sunny Sunday morning, I will make a vegetable quiche for breakfast. This quiche is especially good as it is made with asparagus and sweet brown onions. I will sometimes add crumbled bacon or thinly sliced chicken sausage. We have served this quiche on Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day. It is wonderful as a main dish with a salad or served as an appetizer.
I am wheat intolerant so I will occasionally make the quiche without pastry, which is also very tasty. If you choose to make the quiche without pastry the oven temperature should be 350 degrees and the cooking time will be reduced to about 28 minutes. Butter bottom and sides of pan.
If I am going to serve this dish for a morning brunch I will make my pastry the day before. Of course, purchased pastry works just as well. You can roll out the pastry, put it in your quiche pan, then put the pan in a large zip lock bag and keep in the refrigerator to use the next morning. In order to save time and my nerves, I will prep the onion, asparagus, and grate the cheese the day before as well. Everything will keep nicely in zip locks or in food storage containers in the refrigerator.
This recipe calls for one teaspoon of dried thyme, but you can mix it up with your favorite herb or herb combination. In late spring we have fresh thyme in the garden and I will add two teaspoons of finely chopped leaves instead of dried. Dried herbs taste stronger than fresh herbs.
Asparagus and Onion Quiche
Serves 6 to 8
10 inch quiche pan
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Bake time 35-45 minutes
Your favorite pastry to fit a 10" pan
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 pinches salt
2 pinches of regular ground pepper
2 small sweet brown onions thinly sliced, about 2 ½ cups
1 pound of asparagus, washed, tips only, about 1 heaping cup
4 large eggs
1 cup of milk, 2% or whole
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup grated Jack cheese
I like to use thin asparagus if I can find it. If not, I will slice my asparagus tips in half length wise.
Fit pastry in quiche pan to cover bottom and sides of pan. Put pastry in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
Melt butter in a heavy 11" sauté pan; add onions and 1 pinch of salt. Sauté onions on medium-low for 1 minute stirring often, then add the thyme. Continue to sauté stirring often for about 5 minutes or until onions soften. Add asparagus tips and continue to sauté stirring often until onions are turning a golden brown. Asparagus will be bright green and still a bit crunchy. Remove pan from heat, let rest.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until well blended. Add 1 pinch of salt, 2 pinches of pepper. Whisk in milk. Add ¼ cup of parmesan cheese, ½ cup of Jack cheese, whisk to blend well. Add onion mixture; blend well with a wooden spoon.
Remove quiche pan from refrigerator and pour egg mixture into pan. I use a fork to evenly distribute the vegetables as they have a tendency to clump up in the middle.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until light golden and set in the middle.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.